Greetings from Japan
by Russell & Sandra Board
INDIA TRAVEL AND MINISTRY
In January, Russell joined Bishop J. Talmadge Gardner, missionaries Danny & Judith Williams, and Rev. Timothy Poon from Hong Kong for a two-and-a-half-week missionary journey across India. India is a vast country with 1.2 billion people speaking hundreds of languages and dialects, and each stop presented us with contrasting climates, cultures and cuisines.
CELEBRATION AND GRADUATION IN KERALA
Our first stop was the state of Kerala in South India, where we joined missionary Sabu Abraham in celebrating 15 years of fruitful ministry. We thank God for the expanding network of churches established there, and the dozens of graduates of The Father’s House seminary who have journeyed throughout India to plant churches and make disciples. A highlight of our visit was the opportunity to dedicate a new baptismal pool, and to baptize seventeen new believers in Christ!
SOUTH INDIA PASTORS’ CONFERENCE IN HYDERABAD
Next stop was Hyderabad, where we stayed on the beautiful campus of Hyderabad Bible College. Ministry activities included participating in ceremonies for eighteen graduates of the International School of Ministry, preaching at three Sunday services, licensing and ordaining many new ministers, and holding elections for the South India Conference Board. We congratulate Bishop B. S. Moses Kumar on his election as the first General Superintendent for South India!
MULTIPLE CONFERENCES IN JHARKHAND
Our journey to the northern state of Jharkhand brought a drastic drop in temperature from the sultry 90s to the chilly 40s. The terrain became more rugged, the infrastructure more primitive, the poverty more striking. The team divided in order to cover three different pastors’ conferences, with some of us spending many hours a day on the rough and bumpy roads. But we rejoiced to hear of new churches being planted in remote villages, and pastors remaining faithful in the face of hostile opposition. Officers were elected for the conferences and the governing North India Society. We congratulate Bishop Michael John on his election as the first General Superintendent for North India!
DEDICATION OF NEW SANCTUARY IN VARANASI
Our final ministry stop was Varanasi, the most sacred city of Hinduism, where millions of pilgrims come to bathe themselves or cremate loved ones in the Ganges River. Here Michael and Rosaline John have established Divya Aashray (“Divine Shelter”), where hundreds have found deliverance and salvation in Christ. Dozens of these have been trained to take the gospel to surrounding villages, and have so far planted two hundred house churches ministering to three thousand people! Thanks to generous gifts from individuals, churches and conferences, a beautiful new sanctuary and training center has been erected in Varanasi, proclaiming Divya Aashray to be a Place of Hope for a People of Promise!
Thank you for your faithful support!
Photo Credit: Russell & Sandra Board